Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Firm Focus: Hogan Lovells (Part 2)

(You can read part 1 of this post here)
Conducting a Google News search is a good way to find stories from websites such as The Lawyer and Legal Week, that may not appear on firms' websites.

The following story comes from The Lawyer:

Hogan Lovells adds global project managers and launches management pilot (5th September 2014)

Initial questions
This title is a pretty straightforward one, so my only real question is what the management pilot involves, which I assume will be answered during the course of the article.

What is happening?
"Hogan Lovells has created two global project management roles and hired two senior managers from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) and Accenture" - Christine Siler  and Mike Lowe 

"Slier is heading up the pilot trialling client matters with its current project management team to establish a training plan for lawyers and assess what systems could be put in place to boost efficiency and consistency. The team will report to the management committee by the end of the year."

"A key part of the new leaders’ roles will be training lawyers internally and drawing together the firm’s current project managers and its financial modelling team"

According to the article there has been "an increased concern within law firms to crack down on consistency of approach and organisation"

Who is involved?
Former BLP manager Christine Siler  and Former Accenture consultant Mike Lowe 

It seems that the new managers were hired fairly recently, and the firm-wide pilot is "set to conclude at the end of the year."

This article focuses on Hogan Lovells, but Freshfields have recently done something similar

So what?
Hogan  Lovells, like Freshfields, is an international firm. Freshfields intention in bringing in global project managers was to "join up its existing project managers spread around the world with a unified leadership group [which] will span jurisdictions and take overall responsibility for supporting the firm’s major client relationships".  It seems that Hogan Lovells is also trying to become more cohesive, consistent and efficient across its global offices. 

Head of litigation Michael Davison also raises an interesting point: “Bringing people in from outside the law is a really interesting debate. The message we've got from people is that the really important thing is to train your lawyers as project managers, not just bringing them in from the outside. The strong message from the client was ‘you can’t just allocate project managers to something, it doesn't work.” This suggests that it is increasingly important for lawyers not just to be good at law, but to be well-rounded enough to make successful project managers. 

Hopefully this way of breaking down articles makes the process slightly easier. Please let me know what you think!